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Shish taouk (Montreal)

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A shish taouk is a Montreal-style chicken shawarma. It is the Montreal version of the traditional Lebanese dish, and is usually served in a pita wrap. Montreal's Middle Eastern community, which originates mainly from Lebanon, has made the shish taouk a restaurant staple in Montreal. Most Lebanese restaurants serve this dish as well as beef shawarma (simply referred to as shawarma) and falafel. Some fast food chains in Montreal, such as Amir, Basha, Falafel, Sarab, and Zouki's among others, specialize in shish taouk.

The term shish taouk is technically inaccurate; it generally refers to Turkish style skewered chicken (Turkish şiş tavuk). However, in Montreal, a chicken shawarma is generally referred to as a shish taouk. The origin of this "wrongful" appellation (according to some members of the Lebanese community) has been credited to Abdallah Akkouche, of the Basha restaurant chain.

Some of the "westernized" versions available in Montreal include using a garlic mayonnaise sauce. Montreal shish taouk is marinated in a mixture of olive oil, lemon, and garlic, and is garnished with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickled turnip, and tahini sauce and/or hummus. Afterwards it is toasted on a grill or panini press. It is often served with home fried garlic potaotes, or sometimes rice, tabouli or couscous. Many restaurants also offer a shish taouk platter, which offers all the ingredients above in a plated fashion rather than as a pita sandwich. Most shish taouk platters are served with a pita bread on the side, which the customer can decline.

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